2 MODERN GERMAN LITERATURE The state of literature in 1880 was respectable but stagnant, In lyric verse the scholarly poets of the Munich school had achieved a perfection of form which is apt to weary by its monotony and lack of rude masculinity; its themes were decent but hackneyed; and even the outer appearance of the volumes was used to typify it in the term of opprobrium, Goldschnittlyrik, cast at it by the new school A flood-tide of verse tales in facile rhythms had followed Scheffel's Trompeter von Sakfeingen (1854); Julius Wolff (1834-1910) continued to pour out his rhymed romances till near the end of the century. The exhaustion of the novel is seen in two genres, that of the sentimental tale which had its strongholds in the family journals (particularly Die Gartenlaube) and the historical novel, the so-called Professorenrowan or archdologischer 'R.oman. The vogue of the historical novel is to be explained by the hypertrophied race- consciousness which was the result of the victories ofiSyo1: from the glory of the present novelists like Gustav Freytag and Felix Dahn turned to the glories of the past; the conquest of Italy as related in Felix Dahn's Em Kampfum TLom (1876) symbolized the superiority of the unspoilt Germanic tribes over the decadent, slothful, and shifty romance nations. The historical novel, in so far as it renewed the historical novel of Scott and Willibald Alexis by packing it with palatable erudition, had elements of novelty; the historical drama, on the other hand - it was christened Ober- khrerdrama - is resurrected Schiller progressively debilitated. The theatre had existed mainly on the Sitten- und Thesenstiick, which was, on the one hand, a continuation of the Tfamiliendrama of Iffland and Kotzebue ['kotssbui], and, on the other hand, an imitation of the machine-made plays of Sardou and hoc genus omne\ PAUL LINDAU (1830-1918) was one of the chief purveyors.2 Another consequence of the Franco-Prussian War was the sud- den affluence of wealth, particularly in Berlin; in the Prussian capital there was an orgy of building and of speculation (Grunder- tum)\ it is depicted in Spielhagen's novel Sturmflut (1876). Berlin, mightily magnified, had become a European city conscious of its significance; it became a literary centre to which authors streamed 1 Strangely enough, defeat in the First Great War had ultimately the same result. 2 Two writers of flimsy farces of this generation scored successes in Eng- land: we know Gustav von Moser's (1825-1903) Der 'Btbliothekar as The Private Secretary^ and Oskar BlumenthaPs (1852-1918) Im mlssen Ross/ as White Horse Inn.